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A Foundation Built on Prayer – and Work

03.02.17 • Deanna Harms

Saint Francis Community Services has been helping children and families since 1945. But it’s never had a dedicated giving arm. That changed in 2016 with the creation of The Saint Francis Foundation.

We kicked off our support by meeting with members of the executive leadership, development, marketing and digital teams. A responsive website with a content-management system (CMS) became our immediate priority, quickly followed by a video to announce the opening of Saint Francis’s new home for survivors of sex trafficking (Clover House), and support for Saint Francis’s role in the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) 2017 conference. Saint Francis’s leadership gave us a great gift – encouraging us to raise the bar and tell their story in powerful, new ways.

Tools That Do the Job

We developed and launched a content-managed, responsive website in two months – in time to tap into end-of-year charitable giving. We moved directly into phase two, which included use of new fundraising software for donor management, grant and gift tracking. The website makes giving easy. Every page has a donate button and call to action placed on a large, can’t-miss-it banner image. Confidentially keeps us from featuring actual children within the Saint Francis adoption and foster system, so we searched high and low to find distinctive, compelling stock photography. Close-ups and environmental shots of people interacting and engaging in various activities convey emotion and foster connection. Language is kept simple and brief, with deeper content available as you drill down. Clear top-tier navigation is supported by clickable homepage visuals that show you how to give, volunteer and help. Another homepage feature highlights areas of greatest need. The CMS lets you quickly switch out or reprioritize highlighted programs as needed.

Working the System, Starting in Our Nation’s Capital

The 2017 Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes Conference provided a powerful national platform for introducing Saint Francis to a select, valued audience. Saint Francis kicked off this prestigious event with a 15-minute presentation at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. We assisted Saint Francis’s CEO, president and a board member with their presentations and created a video that communicates how Saint Francis puts the gospel in action. How it works the system to make the impossible possible.

When the Very Reverend Robert Nelson Smith called on the audience of priests to pray and then get their hands dirty – he handed out gloves to reinforce the let’s-get-to-work message. The glove wrap-around did double duty as a brochure, with program and contact information. Bold booth graphics further reinforced the pray-work message throughout the three-day event.

After the presentations, attendees came up to the Saint Francis team with overwhelmingly positive comments. Some had tears in their eyes. A common comment: “I had no idea about the amazing work you do or your impact.”

That’s what we were praying for.

A Home for Healing

One of Saint Francis’s most life-changing efforts is the opening of Clover House. Before the girls – ages 12 to 17 – moved in, it was blessed as a sacred space. We captured the event on video to use in donor outreach. We created nature-inspired notecards, available with a donation or as donor leavebehinds, to generate funds and awareness for Clover House. We love new beginnings.

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